What is a weed?
Some plants are definitely weeds, and others are not, aren’t they? A weed is a plant which is dangerous? Poisonous? Unattractive? Not native? Inconvenient? OR simply a plant growing where we don’t want it.
• Some plants that we think of as weeds today were not considered a weed in the past.
• Some plants we think of as weeds where we live, or in our community, are not considered a weed in other cultures or countries.
Edible Weeds – not just Edible!
Did you know that these amazing plants are not just edible? They can have a raft of other benefits! Companion plants
- Attract/host beneficial insects Repel ‘bad bugs’ e.g., slugs, aphids
- Have medicinal and healing properties
- Can be used as dyes
- Soil breakers
- Bring up nutrients from deep down in the ground through long tap roots
- Can be soil indicators – how much water is in the soil, the nutrients in the soil
- Provide stock fodder
- Good ground covers
- Green mulches
- Nitrogen fixers
Is there nothing these weeds can’t do?!
A note of caution
– before you start out with edible weeds…
- Not all parts of a plant may be edible…
- Some edible plants need to be cooked to be made edible
- Plants can have poisonous look-alikes
- Only eat a plant you are sure you have identified correctly – don’t try things
- Just because an animal or bird eats it doesn’t mean its edible for humans
- Some things are edible but not practical… ever tried cooking an agave root!?
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic, 1878
A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.Doug Larson